Legends about Yellow Crane Tower

Legends about Yellow Crane Tower

The Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼) is a historic site in China with a rich and legendary history that dates back to the Three Kingdoms period. It was originally constructed as a military observation tower by Sun Quan, the ruler of the Wu Kingdom. In front of the tower, there is a sculpture of a bronze crane standing on a turtle’s back with a snake on the turtle’s shell, which is closely connected to various legends about the Yellow Crane Tower. Here are five representative legends associated with this iconic tower:

Lü Dongbin’s Ascension to Immortality:

According to legend, on May 20th, Lü Dongbin ascended to immortality from the Yellow Crane Tower, leaving behind traces of his divine journey. It is said that Lü Dongbin’s meditation and alchemical practices took place in the cave on Snake Hill, where the tower is situated. Various stories also attribute other miraculous events to Lü Dongbin at the Yellow Crane Tower, such as selling immortal peaches or imparting wisdom to mortals.

Xun Qing and the Immortal’s Revelry:

This legend, dating back to the Southern and Northern Dynasties, tells of Xun Qing, a Taoist who frequently visited the Yellow Crane Tower after his travels. One day, an immortal figure in colorful attire arrived on a crane and shared wine with Xun Qing before departing on the crane. This mysterious immortal never revealed his name.

Fei Yi’s Crane Flight to Immortality:

Fei Yi, a statesman during the Three Kingdoms era, is said to have attained immortality and often visited the Yellow Crane Tower while riding a crane. In his honor, the tower was named the Yellow Crane Tower. A pavilion dedicated to Fei Yi can still be found on the northeast slope of the hill.

The Immortal Zian and the Yellow Crane:

Legend has it that a Daoist named Zian, or Huang Zian (Yellow Crane), frequently flew over the area riding a yellow crane. Some accounts even suggest that a yellow crane called out his name from a tree while he was meditating, prompting him to take flight. This story inspired the famous line in Li Bai’s poetry: “The white dragon descends over Lingyang, the yellow crane calls for Zian.”

Xin’s Tower in Gratitude:

This widely circulated legend centers around a man named Xin who earned his living by selling wine. A destitute traveler frequently asked Xin for a drink, and Xin generously provided him with wine for half a year. The traveler then painted a yellow crane on the wall of Xin’s establishment and, with a clap and a blow, made the crane come to life and dance. People from all around came to witness the miraculous crane. More than a decade later, the traveler returned, riding the same crane, and flew away. In gratitude, Xin built the Yellow Crane Tower as a memorial.

These legends and stories have contributed to the allure and cultural significance of the Yellow Crane Tower, making it a symbol of both historical importance and mythological wonder in Chinese culture.

Other facts about Yellow Crane Tower:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *